The NHL’s buyout window is closing at 5 PM ET on Friday, July 1, which means teams that are intent on buying out the contracts of their players must place them on waivers beforehand.
Given that salary cap space has become the most important asset in the NHL, we’re seeing some players with a relatively high amount of skill placed on waivers in recent years.
This season is no different, and you could even argue that we’re seeing bigger names than ever placed on the waiver wire by teams, with the intention of buying them out.
The Arizona Coyotes are leading the pack (!), with two upcoming buyouts. Both Patrik Nemeth and Zack Kassian will become unrestricted agents once they clear waivers. The Chicago Blackhawks will buyout Josh Bailey, who was recently traded from the New York Islanders along with a second-round pick.
And that’s where things get interesting.
The Winnipeg Jets are planning on buying out Blake Wheeler. He’s far from the player he used to be, but if he’s signed to a reasonable deal, the 36-year-old could still hold value in the NHL.
The same can be said about Matt Duchene, who is being bought out by the Nashville Predators. The 32-year-old is still a decent player that can bring value to a team, just not when he’s signed to a contract that pays him $8 million per season.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had four years left on his deal that paid him $8.25 million, and the Vancouver Canucks, who spent significant assets to acquire him, plan on buying out his deal as well.
And finally, the Boston Bruins are buying out former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Mike Reilly. He’s actually put up fairly good numbers in recent years, but his $3 million contract definitely acts as a drag when evaluating his impact on the team.
NHL Buyoutt Information Via CapFriendly.